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The Fantastic Mr. You-Know-Who

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Today, we decided to go on a picnic. We didn't hurry there, but managed to arrive at Dunvegan in time for supper.

Dunvegan is an historic site and beautiful provincial park on the Peace River about an hour's drive from here. We had not been there before, despite having driven the bridge over the river at that point every time we go to Grande Prairie. Mostly, we go to G.P. in the off-season, but honestly, a family day trip like this isn't something we do a lot of.

We ate our sandwiches and drank our lemonade. The boys made friends with some extroverted campers and played "Hide-and-Seek Tag" in the playground. (I never quite caught on to how the rules for this version worked, exactly.) Can you see Jude in his hiding spot?

Koda got to practice staying, when he would rather be running around checking out everything he can see and smell. (No dogs off-leash in the park, of course.)

The boys tried to build a new bridge across the river with rocks.

We walked the 1 km. to the market garden, where they also had some very picturesque flower gardens. It was a good time had by all.

We were almost home, about 1 1/2 miles as the crow flies, when we saw two interesting little fellows in the ditch just ahead of us. We stopped to look at them, and one of them came over to look at us.

He was rather obliging about having his photograph taken, sitting not ten feet from my van window for several of them, actually.

The kids were thrilled about seeing a red fox so close up.

Meanwhile, I was secretly terrified that they were just looking around for dessert after a nice chicken supper.

I had left my older chickens (6 mo. to maturity) ranging around our yard when I left, but of course, we took the dog with us. He usually spends the time when they are free ranging tied up under out step. I don't know why I wouldn't trust him, or anything, but so it is. Actually, he is so hot most days that even when he is not tied up, he still just sleeps under the step, so this is not really a sacrifice on his side, just peace of mind on mine. (Koda is definitely a snow dog.) However, even tied up, he would most likely bark if he noticed a fox in the yard. However, with no such canine in the yard to bark at them, there would be nothing standing between two young foxes and poulet al fresco.

It was with trepidation that I looked around as we pulled into the yard. Of course, it was empty--it was already nearly 9 p.m., which is when my chickens head in to roost.

"Well, either they are roosting, or they are all dead," Jason said cheerfully as he turned off the van's ignition.

"Thanks for that, honey," I replied, shooting him the evil glare. Apparently, my poker face needs some work.

Fortunately, I soon ascertained that all of my poultry were snug as bugs in their coop.

This does exonerate Koda from the attempts at breaking-and-entering I found around my smaller coop yesterday morning. I had already suspected it to be a fox, but there were no clear indicators.

I still don't trust him, but he really does seem to have learned at least a partial lesson after his poultricidal day.

Maybe we can start to relax the security protocols on him soon... but not too much!

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